Plant sterols have been in the news a great deal lately, heralded for their cholesterol-lowering properties. Plant sterols (also called phytosterols), are phytochemicals that naturally occur in plants and work by partially blocking the absorption of “bad” or LDL cholesterol. There are about 44 sterols known to exist in plants.
The recommended amount of plant sterols is two grams daily, and since studies show the average person only gets around 250 milligrams per day, we could all use some help coming up with heart-healthy food ideas! While many veggies such as Brussels sprouts, beet root and cabbage are rich in plant sterols, we’ve focused on five foods that are much more enjoyable:
Pistachios pack a punch when it comes to plant sterols. They have 108mg of plant sterols per 100g of nuts, as well as a healthy dose of fiber and potassium, so start snacking!
In addition to being a cooking staple for everything from stir fries to sauces, olive oil is delicious when drizzled on salads or mixed with balsamic vinegar as a dip for bread. This healthy oil has 176mg of plant sterols per 100g.
Mix these super summer fruits into yogurt, use them as an ice cream topping or eat them on their own! Cherries contain 10mg of plant sterols per 100g of fruit, and are also rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.
Kidney beans are an often-overlooked ingredient that are perfect in soups and stews. Whether adding flavour to chili or making up veggie burger patties, kidney beans are ideal for any dinner and contain an impressive 127mg of plant sterols per 100g.
Yams are yummy mashed, boiled or sliced and baked into fries, and are also a good source of potassium and fiber. These tasty tubers have 10mg of plant sterols per 100g